Consider this: The median household wealth of blacks was a mere $5,677 in 2009, just 5% of the $113,149 median wealth of whites, according to the Pew Research Center.
That chasm of difference in financial assets is one reason why black families are seven times more prevalent in homeless shelters than white families, according to a new report released by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness. Wealth serves as a crucial safety net during economic downturns.
In 2010, black families made up 38.8% of the shelter populations, but only 12.3% of the population overall. That means 1 in every 141 black families stayed in a homeless shelter in 2010.
White families, on the other hand, occupied 28.6% of shelter beds, while they account for 63.7% of all American families in 2010. Only 1 in 990 white families stayed in a shelter that year.
Black families are also more likely to be in poverty than their white counterparts. In 2010, nearly one-quarter of black families were poor, compared to 7.1% of white families.
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